Angel Investing Role in the Startup Ecosystem

Angel Investing Role in the Startup Ecosystem

By: Stephanie Luebbe

Many entrepreneurs seek funding at some point during the life cycle of their business. The source of capital often depends on the industry and maturity of the business. Various sources include grants, accelerators, friends & family, angel capital and venture capital; all playing integral roles in fueling the startup ecosystem.

One of the more active groups in funding local entrepreneurs is the Nebraska Angels. This network of local angel investors is passionate about accelerating economic development by connecting investors and entrepreneurs. Since 2006, the group has invested over $35M into early-stage, high growth companies. These accredited investors participate alongside Invest Nebraska Corporation and other VCs (like Nelnet, Inc.) to help fuel local job creation, attract/retain talent, and increase average wages.

The participation and investment activity of the Nebraska Angels has increased in recent years. Last year set new records for the group with over $6M in capital deployed across thirteen companies, and 96% of funds going straight to Nebraska companies. Membership surpassed 70 angel investors, and engagement was strong with over 80% of members making at least one investment in 2019.

Focused on supporting Nebraska and the greater Midwest, the Angels’ portfolio consists of forty-seven companies and a handful of successful exits. Omaha-based portfolio company, Flywheel, was acquired mid-2019, providing investor returns as well as stirring up interest within the community for more startup wins. Recently Lincoln-based Quantified Ag was acquired by Merck Animal Health, delivering positive returns for the NMotion accelerator program and local ecosystem.

The Nebraska Angels are proud to partner with many organizations supporting local startups, including the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, An Aksarben Workforce Initiative. Other programs geared towards providing financial and operational assistance include Invest Nebraska, The Startup Collaborative, and gener8tor.

For more information on raising funds from Nebraska Angels, check out these FAQs. A complete listing of the Angels’ portfolio can be found here.